TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — When you shop around The Shoals, more and more “help wanted” signs can be found on the windows and doors of businesses, with many offering entry-level positions with the possibility of advancement.
With many businesses open to hiring teenagers as young as 15, Colbert County Schools saw that as an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience. To offer a better way for businesses and potential employees to connect, the school system hosted a job fair.
“We thought what a great chance this would be to have someone here to help them with their resumes and really just to network with the community,” Chelsea Payne, Colbert County Schools Family and Community Liaison said.
Open to students and their parents, the community connections job fair had a number of Shoals businesses across different industries participating like Constellium, Books-A-Million, and McDonald’s.
Candace Scruggs is the new general manager at the Jackson Highway McDonald’s in Sheffield. She said being able to hire young and eager workers will benefit not only the restaurant—which has seen a shortage of workers—but also help the students develop professionally without affecting them academically.
“We can help you get through college, we’re flexible with your sports schedules, and any other particular activities you have after school so don’t let that stop you,” Scruggs said.
That was one concern Colbert Heights High School junior Madison Liles had but she was appreciative of the businesses’ willingness to work with her schedule.
“In reality, every single person I talked to were like, ‘yeah, we’ll work with your schedule.’ And then just walking in, I felt welcome from all the people that talked to me when I walked up,” Liles said.
Liles, along with the job fair’s more than 100 visitors, thanked the businesses and the school system for their role in helping a new generation prepare for the workforce.
If you missed the job fair, the list of participating businesses can be found here.